Faculty Publications

Title

Phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive evolution of osmoregulation in fiddler crabs (Brachyura, Uca)

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS ONE

Volume

12

Issue

2

Abstract

Salinity is the primary driver of osmoregulatory evolution in decapods, and may have influenced their diversification into different osmotic niches. In semi-terrestrial crabs, hyperosmoregulatory ability favors sojourns into burrows and dilute media, and provides a safeguard against hemolymph dilution; hypo-osmoregulatory ability underlies emersion capability and a life more removed from water sources. However, most comparative studies have neglected the roles of the phylogenetic and environmental components of inter-specific physiological variation, hindering evaluation of phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive nature of osmoregulatory evolution. Semi-terrestrial fiddler crabs (Uca) inhabit fresh to hyper-saline waters, with species from the Americas occupying higher intertidal habitats than Indo-west Pacific species mainly found in the low intertidal zone. Here, we characterize numerous osmoregulatory traits in all ten fiddler crabs found along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, and we employ phylogenetic comparative methods using 24 species to test for: (i) similarities of osmoregulatory ability among closely related species; (ii) salinity as a driver of osmoregulatory evolution; (iii) correlation between salt uptake and secretion; and (iv) adaptive peaks in osmoregulatory ability in the high intertidal American lineages. Our findings reveal that osmoregulation in Uca exhibits strong phylogenetic patterns in salt uptake traits. Salinity does not correlate with hyper/hypo-regulatory abilities, but drives hemolymph osmolality at ambient salinities. Osmoregulatory traits have evolved towards three adaptive peaks, revealing a significant contribution of hyper/hypo-regulatory ability in the American clades. Thus, during the evolutionary history of fiddler crabs, salinity has driven some of the osmoregulatory transformations that underpin habitat diversification, although others are apparently constrained phylogenetically.

Original Publication Date

2-1-2017

DOI of published version

10.1371/journal.pone.0171870

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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